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February 15, 2023

Bankers, NBA Testify on ESG Legislation

When policymakers use banks to impose unrelated policy goals, customers and communities get caught in the middle and end up the losers.

Nebraska bankers Nick Vrba, First State Bank & Trust Co. (Fremont), and Brad Koehn, Midwest Bank (Lincoln), shared that message this week with the Nebraska Legislature's Banking, Commerce & Insurance Committee members. During testimony on LB 730, Vrba and Koehn explained the multiple factors that banks examine when making lending decisions. LB 730 would prohibit banks from basing those decisions on anything other than "quantitative, impartial, and risk-based financial standards."

NBA General Counsel Bob Hallstrom also testified in opposition to LB 743, which would prohibit consideration of social, political or ideological interests for the purpose of investing financial assets under state management.

The free-market approach to banking industry regulation has produced the strongest and most resilient financial system in the world. Your NBA will continue to stand up against efforts by policymakers to intervene in that system.

Nick Vrba, First State Bank & Trust Co. (Fremont)

Brad Koehn, Midwest Bank (Lincoln)

Young Bankers Day at the Capitol

Twenty-one young bankers from 13 NBA-member banks visited the state Capitol on Feb. 14 for an introduction to government relations. Attendees heard from NBA President and CEO Richard Baier, NBA General Counsel Bob Hallstrom and NBA Associate General Counsel Ryan McIntosh on how the banking industry is represented during the Legislative session. The day also included a review of the political process, an update on state and federal legislative issues, watching the Unicameral in action, lunch with guest state Senators and attending a public hearing for the Agriculture Committee.

VEBA Board of Trustees Met

The NBA VEBA Board of Trustees met last Friday, Feb. 10, to review the prior year's experience for the group insurance plans offered through NBA Benefit Plans and to recap the 2023 plan year renewal.

The VEBA Board generally meets three times per year and consists of 10 bankers, two from each of the five groups of the NBA. NBA VEBA-member banks vote to elect the members of the VEBA Board in an online voting process. The board member may serve up to two consecutive three-year terms.

The duties of the VEBA Board include: establishing Plan design; setting rates; determining coverages for the Plans; ensuring that the Plans and Trust complete filing requirements in accordance with applicable law; engaging and monitoring the service providers and insurers; determining the investment of assets of the Trust; and ensuring that claims and other expenses owed by the Plans are paid.

The next VEBA Board meeting is scheduled for June 16 and typically is held in the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska offices in Omaha.

Survey: Less Than Half of Banks Satisfied with Core Provider

According to a new survey by the American Bankers Association (ABA), 47% of banks are “extremely” or “very satisfied” with their core processor. However, only 21% of banks surveyed plan to switch providers. In addition to banks, the survey included responses from core providers. The survey reveals a clear perception gap between banks and core providers on how well core processor solutions are helping banks succeed.

The ABA’s banker-led Core Platforms Committee helped develop the survey. The committee has also developed several resources to assist banks in managing their core relationship.

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Legislative, Policy & Regulatory Updates

Legislative Update

Feb. 10, 2023


Stay up to date by subscribing to the NBA Legislative Update. Sent every Friday during the legislative session, the newsletter recaps the week in the Nebraska Unicameral and issues affecting the banking industry.


ABA, Trade Groups Call Out FinCen’s Recent Proposal

The NBA joined the ABA and 50 state bankers associations sent a letter to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) calling for the withdrawal of its most-recent proposed rule related to the beneficial ownership registry. The rule is the second of three rules necessary to implement the Corporate Transparency Act, which directs FinCEN to establish a registry of information on the beneficial owners of certain legal entities formed or registered in the United States.  

The proposed rule would allow banks to access beneficial ownership information only to comply with the 2016 Customer Due Diligence rule, but not for other BSA/AML compliance activities. The letter offers specific recommendations to make the registry more useful to banks and to reduce any unnecessary or duplicative burdens. 

Read the Letter

Trade Associations Encourage Extension on Durbin Amendment Rule

ABA and four other financial trade associations urged the Federal Reserve to extend the effective date of a final rule implementing the Durbin Amendment, Regulation II, by 18 months to Jan. 1, 2025. The groups raised concerns that financial institutions would need more time to comply with the changes required by the rule. 

The rule extends the mandate that debit card transactions be processed on at least two unaffiliated payment card networks — for example, a PIN debit and a signature debit network — to card-not-present transactions. The final rule also states that the debit card issuer is responsible for ensuring at least two unaffiliated networks have been enabled and standardized and specifies certain terms and phrases in the Fed’s Reg II commentary.

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Upcoming Events

To see the complete event schedule, visit the NBA Event Calendar.

Graduate Schools of Banking Opportunities 

Enrollment is open for the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado’s next session, July 16-28, 2023, in Boulder, CO. Learn more and apply here.

The Graduate School of Banking-Wisconsin (GSB-Wisconsin) and the NBA are co-sponsoring a variety of schools throughout 2023 including: Bank Technology Management, Bank Technology Security, HR Management, Financial Managers, Sales and Marketing, and Digital Banking.

2023 Full Schedule

Banks & Bankers

Feb. 8 - 14

Email your news, press releases, photos and/or newspaper articles to be published in Banks & Bankers. Send content to [email protected].

Meet A Banker

Meet NaKisha Baker! She is a branch manager at Arbor Bank and has over 25 years of banking experience.

As a teenager, NaKisha began her banking career as a teller and worked her way up to the management level. She finds joy in helping people of all ages and walks of life and values building trusted relationships with customers.

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Do you know a banker we should feature for Black History Month? Share this form with them and help the NBA highlight the many opportunities available within banking.

Order National Ag Day Materials

National Ag Day is March 21 - and this year is its 50th anniversary! To assist in your promotional efforts, the NBA is offering ag placemats and ag fact cards. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture has not yet received all of the information necessary to complete the cards but hopes to have the cards ready by early March.

Order Form

For questions, please contact Laurie Johnson at the NBA at [email protected] or (402)-474-1555.

Is Your Bank Ready for GSE Insurance Requirement Reviews?

It’s that time of year again — the Federal Home Loan Bank and Government Sponsored Entities (GSE) are reviewing their lending partners to make sure they meet their requirements, including adequate insurance. There are more detailed reviews this year, with some lenders scrambling to meet the insurance requirements or risk losing their certification.

Contact Mitch Florea at NBISCO with questions or to obtain terms at [email protected] or (402)-904-7014.

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